30 is One of Adele’s Most Captivating and Relatable Albums Yet

Chloe Clendenin, Author

Adele Laurie Blue Adkins, commonly known as ‘Adele’ is an English pop singer and songwriter, most known for her second album 21 which was released in 2011 and features the hit songs, “Someone Like You”, “Set Fire to the Rain”, and “Rolling in the Deep”. Adele is also very well known for her song “Hello” which was released in 2015 with her third studio album, 25

These past two years, Adele has faced a number of challenges. During these couple of years, she has struggled with an intense divorce leaving her 9-year-old son, Angelo in the middle of it. While dealing with this challenge, Adele lost roughly 100lbs by lifting weights and circuit training, and from what we can tell, she is doing better than ever. Her 2019 divorce from Simon Konecki was an intense one, as they typically are, but they were married together for roughly 13 years and even had a kid together. The divorce occurred in 2019, which was 2 years ago, but it just recently got finalized in 2021, in that time, Adele has spoken out about her struggles with dating as a famous person and even saying how hard it is to date someone after a divorce, however, Adele and sports agent, Rich Paul just went public a couple of weeks ago as a couple. 

CBS announced that Adele will be Interviewed with Oprah on a special 2-hour show called “Adele One Night Only”, on Sunday, November 14th, 5 days before the full album release. The 2-hour special show will interview Adele and talk about her past couple of years and her public divorce. It also featured a special showcasing and performance by Adele with songs from her new album as well as some of her old songs like “Rolling in The Deep”. The concert also had very special guests in the audience such as Lizzo, James Corden, Emma Thompson, Naomi Campbell, Stormzy, Samuel L Jackson, Emma Watson, Bryan Cranston, Richard E Grant, and Gareth Southgate.

Adele’s recently released 4th album, 30 was released on November 19, 2021. The current top song “Easy on Me” has been a fan favorite and was also the first song to be released weeks before the full album was released. Many TikTok users caused the song to go viral and ever since then, the anticipation for the album has built up. The album 30 is an album on heartbreak, divorce, navigating who you are as an individual, the difficulties of being a single mom, and mental health, yet, it is Adele’s most confident album by far and she proves this by experimenting with new sounds. 

Adele is known for her somber, yet beautiful, heartbreak songs with a slow pop melody. The album 30 still contains that slow, heart-break music, but it also heavily experiments with other sounds, like a pop matrix with jazz tones to it, especially in the songs, “Can I Get It” and “All Night Parking”. 

The songs “Easy On Me” and “Hold On” are the centerpieces of this album, they carry such an impact in the lyrics but the vocals are so strong and captivating. Aside from this album centering around her divorce and struggles over the past couple of years, it is also an album that can be interpreted in different ways, especially in a way that helps other people get out of relationships and find themselves, but more importantly, it can help other artists find their voices and take ownership and pride of their music and to sing and write what they want to. I think that’s a lesson everyone should have in their lives, to be yourself and not care what others think. In an interview with Adele and Apple Music interviewer, Zane Lowe, she told Zane, “I think it’s an important record for them to hear,” she says. “The ones that I feel are being encouraged not to value their own art, and that everything should be ‘get it while you can’, I just want to remind them that you don’t need to be in everyone’s faces all the time. And also, you can really write from your stomach, if you want.” 

This specific album is an album where it is clear to tell that Adele poured her heart into it. 5 out of 12 of the songs on the album are 6 or more minutes long. There are specific songs on this album that carry out the deep somber emotions that Adele has, such as, “Strangers by Nature”, “I Drink Wine”, “My Little Love”, “Easy on Me”, and “Hold on”. “Easy on Me” topped charts after going viral on the social media app, TikTok. “Easy on Me” is one of those songs that you listen to on repeat and get goosebumps every time. Adele is one of the most talented female artists of this decade, her range of voices and lyrical abilities amaze us every time, and “Easy on Me” is a fantastic example of her talent. In the album’s centerpiece, “Hold On”, she confides in this song and she sings, “Every day feels like the road I’m on/Might just open up and swallow me whole/How do I feel so mighty small/ When I’m struggling to feel at all?”. “Strangers by Nature” starts with “All right, I’m ready”, and then fades out, almost as if Adele is preparing for what she is about to sing because the emotions are so much. 

“My Little Love” is a song addressed to her son, Angelo. In this song, Adele says “I don’t recognize myself in the coldness of the daylight/So I ain’t surprised you can read through all of my lies/I feel so bad to be here when I’m so guilty/I’m so far gone and you’re the only one who can save me” then soon follows with the chorus, “Mama’s got a lot to learn (It’s heavy)/I’m holdin’ on (Catch me)/Mama’s got a lot to learn (Teach me)”. ‘My Little Love’ is an extremely vulnerable song that talks directly to her 9-year-old son, Angelo. Adele gets very emotional and personal by sharing her feelings towards her son amidst her recent divorce from her child’s father. In this song, Adele talks about how she is confused and doesn’t quite know what she’s doing or how she even feels. She feels guilty for the divorce and having to expose her young child to her anxiety and depressive emotions. Adele ends the song with a lengthy verse, that almost everyone who has gone through something traumatic can relate to, the song ends with, “I’m having a bad day, I’m having a very anxious day/ I feel very paranoid, I feel very stressed/ Um, I have a hangover, which never helps, but I feel like today is the first day since I left that I feel lonely/ And I never feel lonely, I love being on my own/ I always preferred being on my own than being with people/ And I feel like maybe I’ve been, like, overcompensating/ Being out and stuff like that to keep my mind off of him/ And I feel like today I’m home, and I wanna be at home/ I just wanna watch TV and curl up in a ball and/ Be in my sweats and stuff like that, I just feel really lonely/ I feel a bit frightened that I might feel like this at all”.

Aside from the heavy-hearted songs, there are poppy and fun songs as well, such as, “All Night Parking”, “Cry Your Heart Out”, “Can I Get It”, and “Oh My God”. “Cry Your Heart Out” has a very reggae beat to it, “Oh My God” is a very jazz-filled song that makes you want to dance, and “All Night Parking” has the perfect proportion of jazz and piano. “To Be Loved” is another emotion-filled song that leads to the climax in which her voice is filled with so much power and emotion that you can hear the strain. The song reminds me of the ending of “A Star Is Born” with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, where Lady Gaga sings ‘I’ll Never Love Again’. If you have seen “A Star Is Born”, you know the scene I’m talking about, where your chest feels like it is going to collapse, and you’re feeling all of the emotions possible, and you don’t know how to contain them; well that’s exactly how I feel when I listen to “To Be Loved”.

Overall, 30 is one of my favorite Adele albums, and I think that this is one of Adele’s most captivating albums that really shows her improvement and personal growth. If you were looking to cry to this album after a heartbreak, you won’t accomplish much. Yes, this album is about heartbreak, divorce, growth, moving on, etc, however, it is more about accepting what she has gone through rather than wallowing in her tears and living in the sadness. Compared to her previous albums, this one has shown the most personal growth as well as acceptance. Adele has moved on to her current boyfriend, Rich Paul, who is one of the biggest sports agents in the NBA, however, she has said it herself that it wasn’t easy, but it’s something she felt she needed to do. 30 is very different from her previous albums, and you can tell that she has experimented with the sounds and productions in each of these songs, especially with the experimented jazz and pop matrix sounds used in a few of the songs.